Calendar

Editor's Note: At press time, the following events and meetings were known to be still scheduled. Organizers or appropriate officials are encouraged to contact Sandra Hope at [email protected] to make additions or changes.

Wednesday, Jan. 4

Blood drive set

A Pine Bluff Blood Drive will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The Bleed Blue Blood Drive is held in honor of police officers who have died, according to a flier on the mayor's Facebook page. All donors will receive a Bleed Blue Blood Drive T-Shirt while supplies last. To schedule an appointment or for details, contact the Arkansas Blood Institute at arkbi.org or call 877-340-8777.

ASC sets Stand-Up Comedy class

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host a Fundamentals of Stand-Up Comedy workshop with national touring comedian Ben Jones. The workshop will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at ART WORKS on Main, 627 S. Main St. This comedy class is designed for beginners and those brushing up on their skills. Patrons can explore comedy history, devices, writing structure, performance techniques, and more, according to a news release. The cost is $15 for ASC members and $25 for nonmembers. Participants must be 16 years or older. To register, visit asc701.org/adult-classes or call (870) 536-3375. Details: Rachael Bynum at [email protected].

Pine Bluff Commercial sets church news deadline

Church news is printed in The Commercial on Friday. The deadline to submit church announcements is noon Wednesday. Pastors, ministers or others interested in writing for the Devotional Page may also submit columns for consideration. Column writers should have connections to Southeast Arkansas. Articles should be submitted by email to [email protected]. Details: (870) 534-3400, ext. 5.

Through Wednesday, Jan. 4

Ministry slates revival

International House of Praise, 4511 Faucett Road, will host also a New Year's revival at 7 p.m. Jan. 2-4. The special guests will be the prophet and wife, Leonard and Jessie Ford.

Saturday, Jan. 7

ASC sets Vision Board Party

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host a Vision Board Party with author and entrepreneur Tollisa Stricklen. This event will be from 1:30-3 p.m. Jan 7 at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St. "Piece together your dreams, share, and get feedback to make yours stronger. When your goals are blurry, these boards are invaluable roadmaps to transform your aspirations into accomplishments," according to news release. "Stricklen is a Pine Bluff native who believes in sowing seeds into community youth because they will lead the future," according to the release. The cost is $5 for ASC members and $10 for nonmembers. Participants must be 9 years or older. To register, visit asc701.org/youth-classes or call (870) 536-3375. Details: Rachael Bynum at [email protected].

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 7

Blues concerts on tap for downtown

The Port City Blues Society will host "Blues By Budweiser," live blues concerts on the first Saturday of each month through February 2023 at RJ's Sports Grill & Bar, 128 S. Main St. The doors open at 7 p.m. and music begins at 8 p.m. Port City Blues Society members are admitted for free. There's a $5 cover charge for nonmembers, according to a news release. Performers include Jan. 7, 2023 -- Sean Bad Apple; and Feb. 4, 2023 -- Arkaholics. Details: portcitybluessociety.com or facebook.com/PCBluesSociety.

Sunday, Jan. 8

Art League meets with artist Greta Kresse

The Pine Bluff Art League will host an oil-painting demonstration with artist and designer Greta Kresse. The league invites the public to attend from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center, 211 W. Third Ave. Kresse is a plein air painter who works with oil paint on board and watercolor. For more on Kresse, visit gretakresse.com/. PBAL members are encouraged to bring art to be judged by their peers, according to a news release. Details: pbal.org or PBAL member Vickie Coleman at (870) 540-9975 or [email protected].

Beginning Monday, Jan. 9

ASC sets auditions on "Charlotte's Web"

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host auditions for "Charlotte's Web" from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 9-10. Performances are slated for April 20-23. Ages 8 and older are welcome to audition. No theater experience is required. Auditions will be in the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater at ASC's main facility, 701 S. Main St. Interested participants may register to audition at asc701.org/auditions. Details: ASC Theater Programs Manager Lindsey Collins at [email protected] or (870) 536-3375.

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 10

ASC sets UAPB Spring Senior Exhibition

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 2023 Spring Senior Exhibition from Jan. 10 through Feb. 9 at The ARTSpace on Main. The community is invited to view the exhibition. There will be a closing reception open to the public from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 9. Gallery admission is free.

Thursday, Jan. 12

Exhibition features artist Margie Spharler

Pine Bluff Art League member Margie Spharler will be a featured solo artist at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center starting with an open reception from – 5-6:30 p.m. Jan. 12. The league will supply refreshments and invites the public to attend. Spharler's primary medium is oil. Recently she has taken an interest in craft painting on leaves and wood, with her work's title "Redeemed Wood" reflecting material she salvaged from a fire. The community can find her work in an art booth at The Quilted Barn Vintage Market, 8885 U.S. 79 S, Pine Bluff.

Beginning Thursday, Jan. 12

Dance on Main with Gia Turner set at ASC

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host Dance on Main with choreographer Gia Turner from 5:30-7 p.m. Jan. 12 at The ARTSpace on Main. The session will also be held Feb. 9 and March 9, according to the news release. "This beginner-friendly class will cover the fundamentals of stretching, dance terminology and technique. A different style will be taught each week: Hip-hop, jazz and contemporary," according to the news release. The Pine Bluff native was captain of the Watson Chapel Steppers and UAPB M4 Golden Girls and coached Watson Chapel's Golden Motion Dance-Line. The cost of the dance class is pay-what-you-can, with $15 recommended. The session is for ages 16 years or older. To register, visit asc701.org/dance or call (870) 536-3375. Details: Rachael Bynum at [email protected].

Friday, Jan. 13

ART WORKS presents Open Mic Poetry

ART WORKS on Main will host ART WORKS Presents: Open Mic Poetry from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 13. The event will be in the Adam B. Robinson Jr. Black Box Theater at ART WORKS on Main, a facility of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. "Hosted by nationally awarded author Tru Poet, ages 16 and older are invited to share spoken-word selections and creations in an encouraging environment that celebrates poetry and storytelling," according to the news release. Entry is $5 for ASC members and $10 for nonmembers. No registration is required. Participants can enter for a chance to win door prizes. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

Saturday, Jan. 14

Berry reception, Gillett Coon Supper set

The 11th annual "Berry Pre-Coon Supper Reception" will be held at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Berry Farm Shop at Gillett. The 79th Gillett Coon Supper will follow at the Gillett School Gymnasium at 6:30 p.m., according to a news release. Tickets to the Coon Supper may be purchased by contacting Larry Bauer at (870) 830-4002. Tickets for the reception are $40 each. All tickets will be available for purchase at the door. For reception sponsorship details, contact Becky Barnes Campbell at (501) 912-7560 or Gabe Holmstrom at (479) 409-3329.

ASC auditions for "Steel Magnolias"

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host auditions for "Steel Magnolias" from 1-4 p.m. Jan. 14. Performances are slated for March 10-12 and March 17-19. Ages 18 and older are welcome to audition. No theater experience is required. Auditions will be in the Adam B. Robinson Jr. Black Box Theater at ART WORKS on Main. Interested participants may register to audition at asc701.org/auditions. Details: ASC Theater Programs Manger Lindsey Collins at [email protected] or (870) 536-3375.

Amateur Astronomy with Nick Hobbs set

People can learn about the universe and get hands-on experience with a professional telescope with Nick Hobbs during Second Saturday Family FunDay: Amateur Astronomy, 1-3 p.m. Jan. 14 at Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. Second Saturday Family FunDay is a monthly event that is free and open to all ages. This event is sponsored by the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation.

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 14

Ceramics with Jennifer Solano set at ASC

Ages 18 and older are invited to participate in a hands-on ceramics workshop with artist Jennifer Solano from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 14, 21, 28 and Feb. 4 at The ARTSpace on Main, a facility of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. The cost is $160 for ASC members and $180 for nonmembers. Class size is limited to six participants. To register, visit asc701.org/adult-classes, call (870) 536-3375, or visit in person. Details: Kourtlynn Pinkins at [email protected].

Monday, Jan. 16

MLK parade set

The 39th annual Original KingFest™ Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 16. The parade lineup starts at 1 p.m. and will begin at Main and Barraque streets in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse. From the courthouse, the parade will proceed south on Main to Eighth Avenue; from Eighth Avenue east to the Civic Center Complex north steps, according to the Rev. Jesse Turner, executive director of Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration, event sponsor. Parade applications are available. Details: (870) 730-1131.

Russ NAACP sets MLK event

The Carnell Russ Branch of the NAACP will host the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance from 9-11 a.m. Jan. 16 at 200 Liberty Ave. at Star City. The MLK Day Breakfast will be served from 9-9:45 a.m., according to a news release. The event will include entertainment by youth choirs as well as a panel discussion on the VIEW Continues. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children under 12 years old.

Thursday, Jan. 19

Chamber plans dinner

The Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Chamber Dinner at 6 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Pine Bluff Country Club. Tickets are $60 each and sponsorships are available, according to the Chamber newsletter. Details: (870) 535-0110 or [email protected] .

Beginning Friday, Jan. 20

Grand Prairie sets arts event

The 67th Grand Prairie Festival of the Arts 2023 will hold its photography contest for adults and youth at the Arts Center of the Grand Prairie at Stuttgart. The arts center will receive photography entries Jan. 20 from noon to 5 p.m. and on Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Exhibit dates are Jan. 26-Feb. 23 and a reception will be held Jan. 31 from 5-6:30 p.m., according to a news release. Entries may be picked up Feb. 24-25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To register or for details, visit www.grandprairiearts.com.

Through Friday, Jan. 20

Downtown project seeks chefs, entrepreneurs

Go Forward Pine Bluff is seeking food trucks, chefs, entrepreneurs and start-ups for business opportunities supported by the Sixth & Main project. GFPB is transforming the Sixth and Main Street Plaza into a fully functioning space that will feature four restaurants, a roof top bar and several retail areas in Downtown Pine Bluff, according to a news release. The plaza will also feature an outdoor amphitheater, outdoor dining, a rainwater garden, and a fountain bridge. All interested vendors are encouraged to contact The Generator at (870) 663-0200. Space is limited. The deadline to apply is Jan. 20, 2023.

Saturday, Jan. 20

Yoga in The Loft set

Ages 13 and older are invited to exercise and to relax with certified yoga instructor Florence Love, aka FloEssence, every third Saturday from 1:30-3 p.m. during Yoga in the Loft, a program of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. The next session is Jan. 21. The cost is pay-what-you-can, with $15 recommended. This program takes place in the Loft Gallery at the ARTSpace on Main. Love will lead participants through an hour of yoga followed by a guided meditation. New and experienced practitioners are welcome. Advanced registration is required at asc701.org/yoga or by calling (870) 536-3375. Participants may use provided yoga mats or bring their own. People are asked to wear yoga-appropriate attire. Details: Kourtlynn Pinkins at [email protected].

Thursday, Jan. 26

GOP to meet

The Jefferson County Republican Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at Larry's Pizza, 7401 Dollarway Road, at White Hall. The agenda includes the board elections for chairman, first vice chairman, second vice chairman, secretary, treasurer and two election commissioners. The group will also discuss the fund raising ideas and plans, according to a news release.

Through Saturday, Feb. 4

Midst: Artwork by Nick Hobbs set

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is hosting the exhibit "Midst: Artwork by Nick Hobbs" through Feb. 4, 2023. "Hobbs' current practice is defined by small, highly detailed graphite drawings that interweave the everyday and the sublime in curated juxtapositions. He has been involved with amateur astronomy for over a decade, and it influences everything he does," according to a news release. Details: nickhobbs.art.

Through Wednesday, Feb. 1

NAACP sets ACT-SO deadline

The Pine Bluff Branch NAACP is accepting applications for the 2022-23 Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technology, Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) Program. ACT-SO is designed to support the academic achievements of African-American high school students. The completed form is due by Feb. 1, 2023, and should be submitted to Maryann Lee, 212 W. Barraque St., Pine Bluff, AR, 71601. Students win monetary prizes for first, second and third place in local competitions. First place winners receive an opportunity to participate at the national competition scheduled for July in Boston, Mass. Details: Maryann Lee, chair, (870) 718-5330 or [email protected]. The application is available at https://files.constantcontact.com/585454b8001/a14271de-8fa0-4a25-9fd9-45d64d950458.pdf?rdr=true.

Through Friday, Feb. 24

Taylor exhibit addresses racism, prophecy

An exhibition at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas showcases the work of noted Memphis-based artist Madai Taylor. "An Elegy to America in Black and White II: The Artwork of Madai Taylor" features 18 pieces. Taylor's exhibition addresses racism, and prophecy. The exhibition will be on view in the William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through Feb. 24.

Through Friday, March 3

Zeta Phi Beta offers scholarships

Epsilon Zeta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. will provide a $1,000 scholarship ($500 each semester) to a young woman enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a $500 scholarship ($250 each semester) to a young woman enrolled at Southeast Arkansas College. An applicant must have a 3.0 grade point average. The application, an official transcript, and letters of recommendation on the letter writer's official letterhead, may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to P.O. Box 1161, Pine Bluff, AR 71613, by March 3, 2023, according to a news release. For scholarship details or for an application, email Mary Liddell, second vice president, at [email protected] or call (870) 643-2383.

Saturday, March 11

SEARK announces gala

Southeast Arkansas College will host the Sock Hop fundraising gala March 11 at Seabrook, 6808 S. Hazel St., a SEARK college and community recreation center. The VIP reception is from 6-7 p.m. and the gala from 7-11 p.m., according to the newsletter of the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Through Monday, May 15

SBA disaster loans available

Small nonfarm businesses in 75 Arkansas counties are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2023, according to a news release. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by excessive heat and drought that began on May 30. Details: https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected].

Underway

Covid-19 vaccines, testing available

The Arkansas Department of Health, various pharmacies and healthcare providers offer the covid-19 vaccine, tests and other information about coronavirus. Details: Call the Arkansas Department of Health at (800) 985-6030, visit the website at healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/covid-19-vaccination-plan or contact area medical professionals, according to spokesmen.

Tuesdays

Unity Christian offers free financial classes

Unity Christian Fellowship Church (UCFC), 2712 S. Bay St., invites the community to its free Small Business and Personal Financial Education classes at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Recent subjects included "The Importance of Having a Financial Plan" and "Financial Literacy," according to Stuff in the Bluff website. "You cannot afford to miss out on these life-changing classes. We are practicing social distancing and will have hand sanitizer wipes available," according to the site. Anthony Armstrong is the senior pastor. Details: [email protected] or (870) 329-1182.

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